spaghetti with chickpeas

Anyone running the marathon this weekend? I have a hunch that the overlap between people who, say, read a home cooking blog that unapologetically embraces butter and people who, say, run 26.2 miles in their spare time as an personal challenge, is slim-to-none. And yet, I know a handful of people running this weekend that love good cooking as I do, despite the fact that we obviously have nothing else in common. Seeing as they run when not chased, I bet they also do dishes for pleasure and go to bed advisably early for a less cranky tomorrow. Weirdos.

broth, chickpeas, onion and pancetta

But we can meet at a middle ground affectionately called “carbo-loading”. Runners do it before big races. The rest of us do it because it’s winter and we’re evolutionarily programmed to pad ourselves for warmth. Or because we’re hungover. Or because we’ve been eating too much salad and strive for balance (snerk). And when it comes to carbo-loading, I think this spaghetti with chickpeas wins all trophies. It’s the potato pizza of pasta dishes; the squash risotto of comfort foods; the breadcrumb-topped baked macaroni-and-cheese from the files of So Good It Could Not Possibly Be Bad, Right?

onions, garlic and pancetta

I found this recipe from New York chef and owner of three great Italian restaurants in the city, Michael White, in an article that recommended it for, fittingly, carbo-loading. Despite the fact that I’m someone who finds over-sauced pasta dishes unforgivable, I still wanted almost twice what this recipe called for. I suggest that below. But we enjoyed it, just the same. I tucked in a bowl that felt like I’d eaten an entire pizza and then as much sleep as the tiny Master of the House allowed and woke up with a surplus of energy. Gosh, it’s like those marathoners are onto something!

sauce, cooking

One year ago: Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats and Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Two years ago: Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips and Pepita Brittle
Three years ago: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic and Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
Four years ago: Bretzel Rolls and Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Chickpeas [Spaghetti con Ceci]
From Michael White, via New York Magazine

As I mentioned above, despite generally wishing for pasta dishes with less, not more sauce, I wouldn’t mind this dish with 1 1/2 to 2 times the sauce. My sauce reduced significantly in the 20 minutes it simmered, uncovered. But, in case that’s just me, I’m sharing the recipe as written and if you are looking at the photos and thinking it needs a little more chickpea sauce love, go ahead and double it. Alternately, you could halve or two-thirds the pasta quantity but what fun would that be?

Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a first course or “2 to 3 marathoners”, says NYM

15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained or about 2 cups, freshly cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta, diced (a little shy of 2 ounces)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch chile flakes
1 14-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
10 to 15 basil leaves
Salt to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Set 1/3 cup of chickpeas aside. In a blender or food processor, combine remaining chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped.

Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and diced pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned; a splatter screen will make your stove look better than mine did after this. Add onions, garlic, and chile flakes. Continue cooking until onions and garlic are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, and basil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until al dente, or tastes like it could use an additional minute’s cooking time. Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Toss pasta with chickpea sauce, reserved chickpeas and half of the reserved pasta water until evenly coated and heated through, about one minute. If sauce still feels too thick add reserved pasta water as needed. Season again, as needed, and serve with grated Parmesan to pass.

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299 comments on spaghetti with chickpeas

  1. Looks delicious! And I’m in the middle. Not in the non running category but not the extreme marathoner. 7 miles is max for me. Call it lazy. I call it a workout!
    This recipe looks great by the way!

  2. Carole

    I get super excited every time I see any recipe with chickpeas. (I make your spinach and chickpeas all the time). This looks delish.

  3. You see, you probably don’t realize that so many of us amateur marathoners (I ran my 1st on 10/10/10 in Chicago) run so that we can eat all the buttery bad for you goodness you dish out to us in this little space.

    So really, we have plenty in common :)

    Looks like a perfect winty comfort/carbo-loading type of dish!

  4. actually the combo of legumes and carbs is a very good source for proteins and recommended in any vegetarian diet – so this is not bad at all :-) (popular combinations are also peanutbutter on bread or tortillachips with bean dip. not so bad – being a vegetarian, eh? :-))

  5. cait

    I’m running a marathon next weekend, Deb, *and* I love your blog. I agree with Whitney, who commented above me – half the reason I work out is so that I can eat a lot!

  6. I’m not running the NYC marathon, but I am running a 10k next weekend, a 5k Thanksgiving, and a half marathon in January. And I food blog. So there might be more overlap than you think! Butter is a great long run recovery tool!

  7. If you swap out Veggie stock for the chicken stock, this would solve that ever pressing conundrom of how to feed vegetarian dinner guests something with a bit of heft. Thanks!

  8. AJ

    I have been making a version of this (I think my recipe originally came from Fine Cooking) and I love it –I don’t do basil — I throw in either Swiss chard or spinach — but any version of pasta and beans spells comfort food to me!

    Your photos are always so great!

  9. G Runs

    I ran the Twin Cities marathon a month ago, and my dog ate all my leftovers from carboloading. So much for the post-race binge!

  10. Jamie

    My husband and a friend of ours are not running a marathon, but they are doing a 5K in a few weeks and now I know exactly what I’ll be feeding them the night before!

    My husband actually lived on spaghetti and chickpeas when he was a broke grad student. The chickpeas actually have a good amount of protein and are way cheaper than most cuts of meat.

  11. Looks amazing, particularly with the doubling up of the pasta sauce. How integral is the pancetta to the dish? Would you suggest a substitution to make it vegetarian friendly? Or, simply leave it out?

  12. angela

    I’m a serious runner, and I love your blog. I run for two reasons: first, it is a great way to decompress and manage anxiety; second, because I love to eat so very, very much.

  13. I’m not running the marathon this weekend but I will be running the Houston one in January. I will keep this recipe in mind!

    I can say that some of us weiro runner types also enjoy some of the same things that the people who read home cooking blogs do. In fact, I partly run this way so that I can cook some of the stuff I read about! :)

  14. Jessica

    I’m running my first half marathon this weekend AND I subscribe to your blog. In fact, I just printed this off to make and share with my marathon partner for our carb-loading meal tomorrow (ours is on a Sunday). Thanks!

  15. I’m not running but I will be heading over to cheer on a friend. I don’t suppose the walk from the upper westside to the finish line is enough of a walk to require carbo-loading but I never did need much of a reason.

  16. Kat

    Not to repeat what everyone else is saying, but I also run a lot, and love your blog =] Plus I think you read my mind because i have half a bag of fresh chickpeas in desperate need of a new recipe <3

  17. Courtney

    I run marathons & I am totally obsessed with your blog (in a non-creepy way, of course!). Running is my excuse to eat just about whatever I want and you provide a never-ending source of delicious inspiration. Thanks for the delicious recipe, I can’t wait to try it.

  18. Laura

    First time commenting…had to come out of the woodwork to say I know TONS of marathon runners who love your blog–myself included! Not always, but often, runners run so they can eat lots and lots of butter-laden food…so the crossover is kind of a given here.

  19. Christy

    I, for one, am part of that slim-to-none margin who is both a runner and an avid foodie. A vegetarion foodie, actually. But I’ve found your blog both inspiring and enjoyable, so you can be assured that you’re hitting a wide audience.

    I’m running an 50k (31 miles) this december and may just use this (minus the meat). It looks wonderful!

    And yes, I DO go to bed early but NO, I DO NOT do dishes for pleasure! ;)

  20. Chickpeas and pasta, or any beans and pasta for that matter, has never motivated that inner cook in me. I don’t know why. I never really thought of pureeing it, which sounds like a great idea.

    I would double the sauce, especially a sauce like this. All sauces are not the same!

    Good luck on the run.

  21. Leslie

    I made this before, but my own concoction, split peas, garlic, evoo, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and pecorrino cheese. I am not crazy or weird! Yay!

  22. Erin S.

    I run half marathons (and one marathon) and I also love to cook and bake, and most importantly EAT!! Love your site, and I’m totally trying this before my next race!

  23. Ariel

    Deb! Why do you need to post recipes as soon as I get home from the grocery store? I am making another one of your recipes tonight though, Mushroom Bourguignon. I am not, however, a vegetarian – I had leftover Zuni roast chicken for lunch. I may have a Smitten Kitchen problem. :) I’ll have to make this during the week.

    Also, this kind of reminds of a Lidia Bastianich dish I made when I had time over the summer that involved homemade pasta, cannelini beans, and 3/4 of a pound of bacon. You would probably love it – I have the recipe on my comp if you’re interested.

  24. I just happen to have all of the ingredients for this in my cupboard! Will make it tonight but NOT running a marathon. It will counterbalance the cranberry-pecan pie in that I will have for dessert.

  25. Jenny

    Well, I *walk* the equivalent of marathons – i.e. long distance hiking averaging 20-30 miles a day for 5-6 months. A good part of why I do it is to eat whatever I want, in whatever quantity I want! Love your blog, it’s one of my favorite sources of recipes.

  26. Bobbi

    I love your blog. I am a marathoner + I typically enjoy washing dishes + my bed time is 9:00. I’d never done the math before, but I guess you’re right, that does = weird. Ha! I can roll with that.

  27. Jess

    Count me among those who run PRECISELY so they can eat all of this good food! Well, maybe not entirely. Running just happens to keep me a little more sane. Will definitely file this one away for the week before my next (half) marathon.

  28. NicM

    I love to eat and drink beer and don’t believe in the D-word so I run. I’m starting training for a half marathon next April and the reason I’m doing it? The finish line is at a brewery.

  29. Amy

    Not that you needed another voice, but I’m another marathoner who LOVES food (which is one of the reasons I run).

    I’m injured right now, which means a cut back on butter, but this would be an awesome carb-loading pre-long run meal!

  30. Susan

    Up until I tried the Channa Masala, I had dismissed chick peas as merely a topping that was only good for adding a little protein to a salad. What do I know, right? I still have a hard time seeing it as more than a salad or dip ingredient, but I’m willing to consider this recipe more seriously now. My son is a runner..he’ll go for this. Me, I run at the mouth, does that count? No? Fine.

  31. This sounds delicious! By coincidence, I made spaghetti with a chickpea-based sauce two days ago. My sauce was more like a hummus – I pureed some chickpeas, walnuts, and fresh parsley in a blender and seasoned it with salt, black pepper, and vinegar (I prefer lemon juice but didn’t have any). It was tasty but next time I will add twice the amount of seasonings – I didn’t realize how much the pasta “dilutes” the taste of the sauce. I will be sure to try your recipe the next time I make pasta, although I will probably vegetarianize it by leaving out the pancetta and replacing the chicken stock with water.

  32. Yep, I’m a runner. I’m not sure I can call myself a marathoner yet, though. I only did the one this summer and my performance was um… less than stellar. Regardless, I LOVE your blog and have no need for an excuse like “carb-loading” to make a dish that looks and sounds this delicious. :) (I also actually enjoy washing dishes, there’s just something zen-like about it.)

  33. Jesse

    Not running this marathon, but I’ve run three. AND I first got the link to your blog a couple of years ago from a training partner. We runners LOVE to eat!

    This looks like a delish cold weather meal – thanks!

  34. Lucy

    Well I’m not running the NYC marathon, but I am running one in Dallas in 4 weeks! I’ll have to try this recipe out now to see if I want it again the night before my big race :)

  35. pen

    While I’m not running NYCM this weekend…I think the overlap between intense endurance athletes and buttery-food-blog readers is actually quite high. Or, maybe it’s just me. But, I tell you, the amount of delish cheesy buttery food that I got to eat this summer while training for an Ironman made the whole experience worth it. Even if the Ironman was the most miserable thing I’ve ever done in my life.

    But yes, I run marathons so that I can still eat loads and loads of butter.

  36. Wendy

    Avid marathoner/Smitten Kitchen stalker here. I am ambivalent about washing dishes, but I definitely do NOT go to bed early. I’m not sure what that tells you, but I finished my most recent marathon 3 weeks ago and have made both your chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies in the past week, and your chewy granola bars are my pre-run fuel of choice.

  37. JanetP

    I cannot imagine running a marathon, and, interestingly, I also cannot imagine what this tastes like. My ‘buds are boggling. Not in a bad way, though. Any flavor hints?

  38. Mary

    Yum! I’m running a 1/2 marathon tomorrow and would totally love to eat this tonight–alas, I’ve already cooked my carbo-load dinner for this race. Will definitely use this recipe for the next pre-race meal! As a vegetarian, I struggle to find pasta recipes with a good amount of protein. Thanks!

  39. Crazy runners- I’m gonna run to the grocery and get these ingredients, and that’s as far as my running pleasure goes. I run for my life and that’s it!


  40. I am feeling like the phrase “we’re evolutionarily programmed to pad ourselves for warmth” is just genuis and explains why I want to pack on the weight in the fall and winter and then as a result desire to sleep all the time. Maybe I am descended from bears???? Anyhow, this sounds very yummy. If a recipe contains chickpeas, I’m totally in!

  41. Hi Deb and everyone else,

    This looks awesome, but I’m a vegetarian. Do you still think this would be tasty if I omit the pancetta and use veggie broth instead of chicken broth? Any opinions welcome!


  42. Hello! New commenter to Smitten Kitchen.
    I’m similar with the pasta sauce thing. I prefer a chunky sauce that isn’t so… saucy. How is it that I can love chickpeas so much but never thought to add them to my pasta? This is genius, I say. Anyway, this dish looks very tasty, so hopefully I will be trying it out (with vegetarian adaptations) very soon! Thanks for sharing!

  43. verylazy

    I am not fast enough to get into NYC automatically, but one day I hope to run and I love reading your blog. My best friend got me hooked over a year ago. I have tried several recipes.

  44. Deb, to echo what so many others have said. I love your blog and other food blogs and I run; I did the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend. About 70% of the reason I run is so I can eat more (the other 30% is because I really like to get the medal at the end).

  45. Jordan Baker

    Deb, I AM running a marathon with my boyfriend! But, seeing as I live in Southern California, I won’t be running in NY Marathon….I’ll be cruising down Hollywood Blvd :)

    This recipe looks awesome, and will be perfect after a long weekend run. My bf LOVES pasta too.

    Can you recommend any recipes with quinoa? Or other healthy carbs?

  46. Char

    I am CONSTANTLY looking at your blog, cooking your food, and generally drooling over the pictures. And I run several marathons a year. And half marathons every other weekend on my own, just for the heck of it. Those with tons of energy have big appetites!! And no guilt after eating the entire pumpkin bourbon cheesecake on their own. :)

  47. Caro

    Yeah what up, I read your blog several times a day and eat WAY too many cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. and, although I haven’t done the FULL marathon yet, I did run the half in September, and logged in over 60km last week. I will kill the marathon in the spring of 2011 (and may even use this recipe to carbo-load beforehand!).

    Runners can eat whatever they want (insert devilish laugh here), and thus LOVE love blogs like yours which introduce them to amazingly delicious recipes which are oh-so-easy to make. Thanks for this!! If possible, I love your blog even more now.

  48. Totally with you on the WEIRDOS! front.

    And the carbo-loading love.

    Though honestly? This one was pure literary laughs, for me, anyway.

    Master of the House, indeed!

  49. Being a marathoner, a New yorker who is (sadly) not running the marathon, a serious food lover and quite the butter enthusiast…I have to say that we might have more in common than you think. I mean, think about the first time you decided to make bagels. People told you that you were crazy. You live in NYC. Why make your own bagels? And yet you did it anyway. For the thrill. The adrenaline rush. The delicious food you get to eat at the end of it. Same as running a marathon. :P

    Thanks for this fantastic recipe! I will surely be making it to fuel up for my future marathons!

  50. Liz

    I made something like this the other night with spinach and slices carrots. Your recipe looks soooo much yummier than my made-up recipe. Thanks!!

  51. Kathryn

    I told you that your whole wheat apple muffins and bittersweet chocolate pear bread fueled a busload of marathoners about a month ago! And my marathon training partner and I frequently many of your recipes. This looks awesome and he perfect prerace food for my next marathon in a few weeks. Now off to bed … Yawn.

  52. Julie

    I wanted to pipe in here too that I am running the NYC Marathon on Sunday (my first one!) and I love your recipes. This looks one looks delicious. I will have to give it a try. Thanks!

  53. Stacy

    Yep, I run marathons (but mostly halfs) so I can eat! You should see the damage I can do to a pan of brownies a few hours after an 18-20 mile training run! I love your blog, and quite a few of your recipes have been a big hit with the running crew when I’ve baked or cooked for them!

  54. Elizabeth

    I love that this is a good pantry dish and most of us don’t have to run to the store to make this! Can’t wait to try it and so glad I don’t have to keep checking on the blog and seeing those Buckeyes calling to me!

  55. saranlap

    Thought you’d like to know that you do, in fact, have some overlap — I’ve completed 2 marathons (including NYC), 3 half marathons and about 50 5k’s — and I cook from your site ALL.THE.TIME! Bring on the butter!

  56. Angie

    I tried this recipe tonite and it was delicious!! However, I left out the pancetta and used veggie stock instead of chicken and it turned out great! A wonderful meal to prepare me for a long run tomorrow :) Thank you for the recipe!

  57. Hi Deb! What a great recipe. I’m pretty much THAT girl that brings a pot of salted water to a boil, cooks the pasta to al dente and throws on the homemade alfredo sauce with a little sprinkle of parsley and I call it “plain and fancy.” Where’s the meat? where’s the veggies, you ask? Hopefully this recipe will help me too.

  58. Because of my addiction to chickpeas, this is definitely on my to-do list. Thanks for posting a great recipe, and one that includes common items already on hand, at that.

  59. This is the kind of thing I can really get behind even though running to me means what water does when it comes out of a tap. I’m not sure I believe all that eat more protein rhetoric, I’m certain my peasant genes require about a 99 to 1 ratio in favour of carbs.

  60. I cannot wait to try this! Excuse me, but just about anything with garlic, onion and pancetta is great. And you’re so right about the sleep factor. I ate a huge plate of Pasta alle Sarde yesterday (do you know that recipe?) and slept like the proverbial log. Buon appetito!

  61. Jerri

    Hey! I AM a marathon runner and I read and love your site and make your recipes whenever I can. My friend who referred me to your site is also a marathon junkie. In fact, many of my running friends are fanatical foodies! It’s how we keep on running. This recipe sounds delicious. Can’t wait to make it after I get back from my run this morning. Keep them coming, Deb, and thanks for a great blog.

  62. Emily

    Au contrare, marathon runners can eat whatever we like without stacking on the pounds, so I and my marathon running friends are the biggest fans of butter and calorific treats around. Although I’m not running the NY marathon, I’m running the Florence marathon at the end of the month (and ran the Belfast one in May). This recipe will certainly come in handy when I start my carb loading for that. I love your blog- everything I’ve tried has been totally delicious

  63. claire

    Love chickpeas; pasta not so much…guess ill be sticking to my wintry soups: internal comfort blankets :) probably best, since running doesn’t even make the “not so much” category for me.
    But, “I run when not chased” :that’d make one hell of a jogger’s badge :)

  64. I’m one of those crazy running people simply so I can eat all the baked goods I want, and not weigh as much as a small cow. This recipe looks amazing! I’m definitely going to try it.

  65. Caitlin

    Made this for dinner sans the porky goodness (vegetarian housemate) and with “tubed” basil (ergh, still winter here) instead of fresh, and no cheese because… we forgot to buy some.
    IT WAS AMAZING. A keeper. Next time I will actually use the right amount of chickpeas.

  66. Mary

    I love your blog – and I am a “run for fun” type (marathoner/triathlete). My little boy and I make your desserts at least once a week (he is superexcited to make the buckeyes). Fun fact: best post-race drink: chocolate milk:-D

  67. debio

    Ah, it was a year ago I discovered this site,, as the salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats were the very first thing I ever saw on your blog. and then I immediately made them and have passed the recipe and your blog onto my friends. Wonderful year it has been! Thanks!

  68. Ruth

    I think this would be even better with some lemon juice.

    It could also become a great soup for the next night with added chicken broth.

  69. joant

    Deb: Chickpeas! Last night made Mark Bittman’s creamy chickpea and carrot soup. Tasted this AM – even better, of course. Next up…your pasta dish thank you. You should give Mark’s soup a whirl. Good thing about it: It serves 4 so you don’t have tons of leftovers. Bad thing about it: It only serves 4.

  70. Calisson

    This sounds absolutely wonderful. I’ve been using Whole Foods whole wheat pasta, which is delicious– it would add even more fiber and wholesomeness to this dish.

    Isn’t the country spelled Chile, and the spice spelled chili?

  71. I love chickpeas, especially in Indian dishes and the way my Afghan friend prepares it. I love pasta,but I would have never really thought about pairing them together.I am sure that it is a very rich meal,flavored with tomatoes and pancetta.

  72. Calisson

    Oops! I meant to put the words Pedant Alert in there before the spelling comment, but because I had put them in brackets they didn’t appear.

  73. joant

    BTW – If you use vegetable stock – and you’re using fresh chickpeas….definitely soak the cp’s overnight. They take a very long time to cook to soften otherwise. And here’s the great benefit: You can use the chickpea water instead of veggie (or chicken) stock. Now…that’s really budget! And – Deb – I cannot wait to make this pasta dish; thank you!!!!!

  74. I love this creative use of chickpeas and like joant’s idea of using the chickpea water. Another one of your wonderful recipes that is easily adapted to gluten-free. This will definitely be on my list to try.

  75. Agent Scully

    Any suggestions for replacing the pancetta? Id’ love to turn this into a vegetarian option. I’ve got vegetable stock on hand, but I’m not sure what to do to replace the bacon. Thanks!

  76. Chaja

    I’ve made this dish ever since I tried it in a little restaurant in Rome. For those of us who don’t want to dirty a blender, a bit of humus can do the trick in thickening the tomato sauce without blending chickpeas. In fact, I really like that little bit of tahini sauce that comes into the dish through the humus. One suggestion though: the chickpeas in cans are often not sufficiently cooked. I often let them simmer for another 10 minutes in their own water, drain and then add the tomatoes etc. I’ve always had the vegetarian option, so leaving out the bacon seems to cause no trouble and needs no replacement (@Agent Scully).

  77. Marbarre`

    I this is getting repetitive, but I think you’ll be happy to know how many avid runners are avid eaters…..and avid SK readers! Runner, check, eater of all things buttery and starchy, check, early to bed…no check…..dishes….no, no, no check!

  78. I am also one of the horde of marathon runners that live off your recipes. My particular favorites are the creamed spinach and pasta with a little bit of chicken added and the spaghetti with swiss chard and garlic chips. However, my pre-race meal is Ina Garten’s butternut squash risotto. I would love to see you make a version of that one! Too bad my marathon season is done for the year; this is recipe will become part of my running menu.

  79. Rachel

    Looks so good! I’m going to try it without the pancetta and veggie broth instead of chicken stock. I think if you add some tomato sauce and/or balsamic vinegar to the sauce it will give the flavor a nice depth…

  80. Looks awesome! My mom used to make a great pasta with a clam/chickpea sauce. I am putting this on my “To Make” list for sure. Maybe it will inspire me to run a marathon…hahah or not!

  81. Maissa

    I run so I can eat – i even have a headband that says it, which I wear while completing half marathons. Case closed. :).

    This looks delicious.

  82. We were in NY last night and majorly carb loaded (shhh, don’t tell anyone but not running in race, just carb-loading for support) and then this morning I saw many runners out early squeezing in last minute training.

  83. I’m a runner and I love your blog (that applesauce cake from last week …!) so, you know :) Not running the NYC marathon tomorrow (one day!), but my bf is doing a 1/2 here in SF and I think this will be on the menu tonight …

  84. AlaskanCook

    I am an avid marathoner and regular stalker of your blog. I make a very similar meal for my carbo-loading purposes, but include artichokes, asparagus, zucchini and squash to the tomatoes and chick peas. Can’t wait to try your way soon!

  85. I’ve never run the New York Marathon, but I am yet another marathoner that loves your blog! You’ve yet to lead me astray on a recipe.

    I frequently tell friends (and, let’s be honest, anyone else who will listen) that my favorite part of marathon training is being able to justify a 2,000-calorie brunch after a long run (preferably including a Bloody Mary. A girl needs her veggies, right?). So your recipes fit perfectly into my training regimen, keep ’em coming!

  86. liz

    Such a nice dish and I think my little boys will like it too! It sounds delicious and kind of “old world” like some pretty Italian mom with a lot of kids to feed made it for her family, poured herself a nice glass of Chianti and said “Manga! Manga!” – yum.

  87. I love pasta and bean dishes, though I’ve typically trended towards white beans so the chickpeas would be a nice change. Thanks for sharing! I’d caution eating too many beans before the race though for runners with sensitive stomachs. ;)

  88. I will have to try this carbo-loading meal out on my marathon-running husband who, by the way, can eat any amounts of anything and not gain a single pound. Highly irritating! He hasn’t run the NY marathon yet, but it’s on his bucket list. So, we may just show up on your doorstep on the eve of a future marathon, begging for this dish.

  89. Jenna Marie

    i myself am one of those self-proclaimed “weirdos.” I love to cook, bake, and run. It seems to me the running and working out just make the good food taste better. Cheers to an awesome looking dish- some artichoke hearts might add something nice. Have a good weekend.

  90. Andy

    There is a similar recipe in Jane Brody’s Good Food Book that I have been making for years. Instead of basil and chili flakes, it uses fresh rosemary. This basic formula works well with many kinds of flavourings.

  91. Beth

    Mmmm….I’m trying this tomorrow. I’ve been making the rosemary version with pasta shells for years. Chickpeas are my #1 comfort food! Thanks Deb from way down south —

  92. I just ran the Chicago marathon and have signed up for another half marathon this April. And obviously I love your blog :) I run to eat and I eat to run. They help balance each other out.

  93. shannon

    Made a vegetarianized version of this tonight. Subbed veg stock for the chicken, left out the pancetta and threw in some capers for added umami goodness. Yummy! Oh, and add me to the list of people who run long distances at times and still love your blog to bits. The best part of burning all those calories is replacing them!

  94. I kinda feel like finding a way to do something with the onions and chickpeas. A carmelized onion dip with the chickpeas maybe? Not sure – but the picture inspires me to tweak around and figure something out. Personally I’m not a big pasta person. I know – some people say, “How can you LIVE without pasta?” but I’ve been living pasta free for so many years now I don’t miss it at all. But the other ingredients – absolutely.

  95. mai truong

    Hi Deb! Thanks for another scrumptious recipe. I can’t wait to try and I will definitely double it up because I do love pasta with a lot of sauce :). I do run marathons and I run because I love running, being outside, breathing fresh air and moving around. But I also love really good homemade food, photography, creativity, style, and writing. And your blog has all that with some serious personality. I love it. Those two interests do exist in tandem :). Thank you for bringing so much tastiness to our family dinner table!

  96. Mine

    You make everything look gorgeous, I would like to know which camera you use to take theese wonderful pictures and do you use any kind of editing program?

  97. Mia

    I am not a Marathoner but I am nursing a very big and hungry 7 week old, and I’m a vegetarian and not eating dairy because of baby’s issues with it! I made this recipe the day you posted it. I made it without pancetta and used a can of crushed tomatoes instead for more sauce. It was delicious and filling and my husband agreed. I will most certainly make this again.

  98. Rachel P

    I am running the Richmond Marathon next weekend, and am an avid follower of your blog! ( : I can’t wait to try this on Friday!

  99. Sarah

    I made this last night and it was delicious! To make it saucy I doubled the stock. Delicious and it is going to become a regular dinner. Thanks Deb!

  100. Katie

    Ha! I’m a marathoner/ triathlete and still read your blog everyday!! In fact, I think my need to exercise so much is a direct correlation of my trying to recreate all your recipes!! I do love a healthy recipe though, so thanks for including! I can’t wait for your cookbook, 2012 can’t get here fast enough.

  101. sr2345

    not to repeat what many others have already said – but i too am an avid marathoner and also LOVE your blog! it’s one i return to regularly for new food ideas and inspiration :)

  102. Not an exercise freak, I leave that to my brother….. also a chef!! Plenty of good banter going on between us in this department, but for whatever your poison (or reasons), when it comes to carbo loading (or as my bro would say…. carb up) this is a good one, great one in fact. Thanks for sharing :)

  103. michelle

    Has anyone tried making this without the pancetta? It sounds amazing, but I’d have to leave out the pancetta to get my husband to eat it (veggie boy). I’m pretty sure I can sub the chicken broth for veggie, but what about the pancetta? Any ideas?

  104. emilyhall

    I made this Friday night with extra pancetta (my three-year-old is allergic to dairy, so I thought–add a bit more of the other good stuff). A big hit–brilliant. Thank you!

  105. I think your instincts are right on the sauce issue. I know, I know, Italians use sauce much more sparingly that we do, but hey, we’re not in Italy, ARE WE? Doubling this delicious sounding sauce seems the only sensible thing to do.- Thx – S

  106. I would swap out the regular spaghetti with spaghetti squash – because I am crazy for all kinds of squash – and spaghetti squash just brings a whole new take on the traditional plate of spaghetti to the dinner table.

    Great blog.

  107. Agent Scully

    I made this last night, and I doubled the sauce recipe. And you know what? It was *still* super dry (I also don’t care for super saucy pastas, so I was a bit nervous to double the sauce). Next time I will cut the pasta in half.

  108. I’ll admit that I haven’t run a full marathon, but I have done a half or two each year for the last 4 or 5. I love this though obviously as a vegetarian I will need to take out the pancetta and swap stocks.

  109. TheRealKlady

    Beans & pasta… one of my favorite combos! Made this last night, and as recommended, doubled the sauce, which was perfect and definitely a requirement. Super easy and wonderful. Great for our last minute dinner guest. Probably my new favorite pasta dish. I will make this again and again.

  110. I don’t think the gulf between runners and foodies is as large as you think. We’re essentially the same sort of people. Most runners run to relax or for their health. Personally I find cooking a great way to relax and kinda necessary for my health (I’m coeliac). Both types of people tend towards perfectionism; runners always want to beat their last time, go a bit further, cooks want their puff pastry to rise a little higher, to make those cakes just a wee bit neater. And both pasttimes are highly addictive; once you’ve discovered running/cooking it’s very hard to go back to sitting on the sofa/eating store-bought ready meals. See, you’re really just a pair of trainers (er sneakers?) away from running a marathon…

  111. New cook

    I love this site, love to cook, love to eat and run to make it all possible. Half marathon is my distance and that burns off a lot of butter!

  112. christina

    I read your blog! and I ran yesterday for marathon #4! races like that could make anyone run one (for the spectator/crowd value … the course/length is another story).

  113. Jen

    Just made this, and it is so good! I added some broccoli & chopped chicken, used high fiber pasta, and this will easily be 6-8 meals (which makes it less guilt-inducing, too). With the small amount of sauce to pasta ratio (used 1 lb of pasta), I made sure to salt well. This recipe did not disappoint!

  114. Jen

    I’m not a runner, but I provide food and emotional support for one (my fault, I married him after all). I also do support crew for adventure/expedition races(think Primal Quest), which includes feeding the racers. I think this recipe might make it to my next outing (adapted of course – there’s only so much I can accomplish with a couple of ice chests and a Coleman stove.)Less sauce is actually a plus for this sort of thing.
    Side note – your blog got recommended on GOOP. I think it’s funny when blogs I read cross paths. It’s kind of like when tv shows do crossover episodes…

  115. Jen

    This looks awesome. I love the combination of chick peas and pasta. I recently made your warm chick pea and butternut squash salad and served it over pappardelle–yum!

  116. Julia

    I’m not a marathoner (yet), but I am a runner. Like the multitude of other runner commenters, I do it mostly so I can eat all the yummy things, like everything you post. Also, I want you to know that your blog is how I found one of my favorite running (and more) blogs — hello Megan from Runner’s Kitchen. So, not slim-to-none after all.

    I had no idea what to cook for dinner tonight, but now I do. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Deb. :D

  117. Megan

    I have to say, this is my first visit EVER to your blog and you’re so hilarious! I love you’re writing style! Not to mention, this recipe looks fantastic. I’m not quite a marathoner, YET, but I am training for my first half-marathon. I’ll definitely be carbo-loading (AKA consuming all the calories I burned) with this dish. Looking forward to following your blog!

  118. Kris

    I made this for dinner tonight–over spaghetti squash instead of pasta–and have already emailed the link to the recipe to 4 people to recommend it. Delish!

  119. Jenny

    Deb, thanks for the idea! I made a vegeterian version of this tonight, simply because we didn’t have any meat in the house, almost tripled the chicken stock, added swiss chard and roasted cherry tomatoes before adding them to the sauce instead of canned…all because it’s what I had on hand. Great inspiration and my husband and I moaned through the whole thing and my 2 y.o. little guy even ate it! Thank you!

  120. Karen

    It’s a keeper! I doubled the sauce. Next time I will only cook 1/2# of noodles, and not double the sauce. It’s a lot for two people! I like the idea to put chicken in too. I had to tell my meat loving husband that, yes, there is meat in this recipe! Thanks, your recipes never disappoint!

  121. As many above me state, I run because I love to eat. So now I have an excuse to actually eat more. If I didn’t run, I would be on one of those tv specials about people who can’t fit out their front door. In fact, this weekend I ran for chocolate. Yup, a race sponsored by Ghiradelli chocolate, talk about a reason to run.

  122. I did not run the marathon but some very dear friends ran it in honor of another close friend who was diagnosed with leukemia this year and they sent text messages and photos throughout the day, so I feel like I was there with them. We also are all big food lovers, those who run and those who don’t. So we are a part of that overlap I guess. Like all the above, when I do run it is because I love eating.

  123. Jennie

    I always thought spaghetti with chick peas was my own little secret- this, well a more basic version of this- has long been my go-to comfort food. Throwing in some artichoke hearts, sliced chicken breast or sausage also adds a little something. A good “clearing the cupboard meal” – plus I like that you usually have these things on-hand, so its good for those days you realize you haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks. Can’t wait to try this version!

  124. haha us runners may be all wholesome and healthy in training but it all goes out the window when the race is over. Nothing quite like 26.2 miles to work up an appetite and the feeling of deserving large quantities of junk.

  125. I have just found your blog and am so happy that I did! I love it and your recipes look fantastic!! I will definitely be adding you to my blogroll and look forward to trying out your recipes :)

  126. Kim

    I used 8 oz of pasta because I like my pasta with lots of sauce to mop up with bread (talk about carb loading), but there was too much sauce. I tossed the leftover sauce with about 4 oz of fettuccine the next day and it was perfect. Moral of the story is that I think 12 oz of pasta is the perfect amount for the sauce. Delicious recipe and great as leftovers the next few days.

  127. Malin

    Oh my god! I am so happy that i discovered this blog! It’s fantastic, all of it. The food, the recipes, the posts and last but not least the photos! You are so inspiring and i’m definitely going to read this blog a lot more. Thank you!

  128. Dani

    Lady, I don’t know what boring kinds of runners you know – the ones I know love their bellies as much as we love the road. Me and my friends all ran the marathon this weekend. And we run so we can eat and booze it up and we can’t afford to buy bigger jeans – otherwise we’d all be bigger than a fleet of trucks. Our shirts said we run for champagne – not for cancer, AIDS, world peace, relatives who have passed on, or any other worthy causes like that….but for champagne. Bacon cheeseburgers and fries afterwards. So yeah…you need to know some new runners. Either way this will go on the carb-loading rotation as it looks delicious.

  129. Carrie

    I made this last night and Husband, an avid runner, rates it a “repeat! often!”. We are moving in 2 weeks (de-nial is not just a river in Egypt!), so consuming items on hand was key – with the only substitutes I was forced to make was diced prosciutto for the pancetta and short pasta (orzo) for the spaghetti. Diced tomatoes, chickpeas along with working on my pile of onions and garlic from our last farmers’ market and basil leaves I had frozen. I understand the comments about the sauce to pasta ratios – it’s personal preference – we used short pasta (orzo) as we did not have long noodles on hand and the ratio worked for us and it sat like a nice, little stew-y risotto. I think because of the pork I used, there was little need for seasoning and less cooking since it is already cured and dried. So tasty! The measurement, heat level and cook times for my stove were spot on for me. I will make it to the recipe the next time in the new house! (signed, frequent lurker, first time poster)

  130. I think you might be surprised how appealing your blog is to runners. I run specifically because I love to cook and eat. And while I haven’t yet reached true “marathoner” status (I prefer the 1/2 marathon myself), I aspire to it. And, I fill my refrigerator with butter and heavy cream to offset all that running. :)

  131. Holly

    Runner, here! I run so I can eat, and I run because I LOVE butter. And salt. And sugar. And carbs. Nom nom nom. I’m currently training for my first half marathon, and I regularly start our group runs with a rundown of what I’ve been cooking/eating lately.

    I do believe the boyfriend and I might have this for dinner Saturday (have to wait that long, sadly, because that’s his next night off from work).

  132. Dana

    Somehow I ended up becoming a runner. I’m not sure how it happened, but this year’s marathon was my 6th (and I wish I had seen this post on Saturday when I was carbing up!) I agree with the other runners before me – a huge motivator for continuing to run these distances is knowing that I can indulge in all sorts of tasty, not-so-healthy treats more frequently than I would be able to otherwise. This is especially true as I enter my 30’s and my metabolism keeps trying to slow down and prevent me from all those delicious carbs.

    So yes, I do run, but also I LOVE your blog, and love to cook, and I hate hate hate doing dishes, especially in my also way-too-tiny NYC kitchen sink. God, what I wouldn’t give for a dishwasher…

    Thanks for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it out before my next long run!

  133. Jennie B

    Another marathon runner here who is smitten with your website! Although lately, I’ve been spending more time looking through your recipes (and telling everyone I know that will listen to me rave about them) than actually running. This recipe looks great, as usual. Thanks!!!

  134. Rachel

    I made this, but added brussel sprouts and used shell pasta. So delicious… the brussel sprouts carmelized nicely, and the shells looked so pretty!

  135. I ran the NYC marathon this weekend, love food and even have my very own food blog! As I was running the NYC streets I was thinking about you and where you and your little kitchen might be so that I could stop by for some much needed nourishment!

  136. I’m a novice runner — my first race was the Marine Corps 10K two weekends ago; yay! so fun! — but I definitely have marathon goals. And I’m a devoted lover of cooking, eating, and your blog. I’m allergic to gluten, eggs, and dairy, but I could eat chickpeas and pasta all day long, so I’ll definitely try this soon. (I also hate to wash dishes and can never get to bed before midnight.)

  137. Susie

    Love the first paragraph, you made me giggle :). My husband is doing the Ruckus on Saturday….a perfect dish Friday night!! Thanks. (And thank Dinner: A Love Story for the shout-out. I’m devoted to her and now on your site as well). Like.

  138. Joe

    Hi Deb,
    I am a avid fan of your website, and have tried most of your recipes. This pasta dish comes up short, both in flavor and ‘return on effort’; a lot of work for a small return. I’m of Italian heritage, and have been eating similar dishes for decades (pasta e ceci, eg), which are prepared much more simply and more flavorable.
    Thanks for wonderful fun you’re giving us, and look forward to your next email. PS: Those “World Peace” cookies were the most decadent we’ve ever had :)

  139. I run marathons all the time and regularly run ultras up to 100 miles. And I read your blog a ton, and I think a lot of my running friends use your recipes!! We love butter too! Most of my favorite recipes have come from your site!

    That said, this *would* be a great carb-loading recipe because you use chickpeas instead of meat (which is harder to digest). I’ll use it sometime!

  140. katekirk

    “avid runner, avid eater” describes me quite well. I’m having a whole party around your mushroom/bechamel lasagne recipe, actually. But I despise doing dishes – isn’t that why you get married?

  141. Oh Deb! If you only knew how many of us who love the long, long runs love your recipes. Especially when you run ultras, on gnarly (or nice) trails, and are running for many hours, you need to keep your strength up. It’s like a buffet with real food at every aid station.
    My favorite smittenkitchen recipe (well, the one I make most often) is the Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. It’s great carb-loading food!

  142. Just found your website and I absolutely love it. For days now, I have been salivating over the most recent post on spaghetti with chickpeas. YUM! Of mention, I have run a marathon before but mostly stick with mileage under 15 miles (per run) now. I carb load even when I don’t need to…and that is probably one of the many reasons why I will never give up running. :-)

  143. Lyndsay

    Just made this recipe and my husband and one-year-old son loved it! To be honest, I was a little short on time and feeling a little lazy after a full day of running after the little one, so I skipped the pancetta, but it still turned out nicely.

    And yes, I love carbs and running. But mostly carbs.

  144. :)

    I made this tonight and followed your suggestion to double the sauce and used whole wheat linguini. I loved it. The only thing I did differently was that I covered the pot with a lid during simmering. Also I used can diced tomatoes. If you don’t have fresh basil leaves, use fresh sage. SO GOOD!

  145. I actually tried this recipe from vegetarian times months ago (with less basil), vegetable stock instead of chicken and my husband LOOOVED it! It was delicious!

  146. Maureen

    This was outstanding! It reminded me of the Italian food we ate at home when I was young: simple, fresh, delicious. A perfect meal for a cool fall evening. The doubled amount of sauce was just right for a pound of pasta. We will be eating this again, with pleasure.

  147. This recipe sounds tasty. Since I do not buy pancetta I would substitute almost any other protein. Now it would make a great meatless version for my 9 year old who recently decided she was a vegetarian. An important step for someone so young but I support her with this.

  148. This recipe looks delicious! I’m in the love to run AND love to eat and cook category and this is right up my alley! I’m also looking for recipes to try that are not meat heavy, and this looks incredible. I may just try it tonight!

  149. The name of my blog is FOOD to RUN FOR so clearly I love eating and cooking up buttery delicious foods! It’s why I run : ) I just bookmarked this recipe and I RAN New York- did you see me? It was a great experience. Love your blog : )

  150. Robin

    Oddly enough – I’m planning on making a version of this dish tomorrow – yours looks so much better I think I will upgrade!
    I also suggest Rancho Gordo for dried chickpeas you can cook up easily. Way better than anything from a can!

  151. Kinsey

    I made this last night and I was delicious!! My almost 2 year old loved it too and he usually refuses to eat anyting the least bit “slimy”. I will be making this again and soon.

  152. I ran the marathon and wish I had seen your recipe sooner! (I’m obviously very behind in my blog reading. I love pasta a la ceci and will look forward to trying your recipe :)

  153. HungryGrad

    For the record, I love your blog and although I haven’t done a marathon yet (I’ve done a half), I am training for one. So there is overlap, I promise.

    And I love chickpeas. And spaghetti.

  154. I ran the marathon! And sadly, I am only a week and a half late in telling you that FOR my pre-marathon carbo-loading pasta-party hyphenated-word extravaganza, I made Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce, from your blog! I really wish I’d made this, because I love chickpeas so much.
    But then again, I have another race on Sunday. I hear Saturday dinner calling to me already!!!

  155. btown

    ok, yum. made tonight with a couple of anticipated and unanticipated variations… one was the italian deli was closed so instead of pancetta, I got bacon. And by mistake I got turkey bacon. So I made it with turkey bacon. I didn’t slice the garlic, I used the press because I made this after the kids went to bed and my husband was working late and I was, well…. tired. Too tired. Then the onions cooked probably a little longer than they should have because my 3 year old kept calling me in after bedtime for various reasons… need a tissue, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry… and as it turned out, there was a little less than a pound of pasta because our babysitter used it today. But still delicious. Next time I’d add more basil, or perhaps add some as a garnish… yum.

  156. julie s

    I made this last night and it was AMAZING! Like I want to eat this for dinner every night for the rest of my life AMAZING. I doubled the tomatoes and halved the amount spaghetti. It was saucy and delicious!

  157. Sara

    Tried the recipe and it turned out great. Made it without the Panccetta because I did not have any and was not going to run to the store with a toddler in tow. Also used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for the same reasons mentioned above. Still, tasty and very easy for a weeknight meal. The family gave it an A+.

  158. Julie (not the same one!)

    Looks great! I’m making it tonight. Now do you have any recipes using chickpea flour? We were trying to make farinata and both my daughter and I bought chickpea flour for it. Unfortunately the farinata was a bust and now we have an excess of flour. Ideas?

  159. Calisson

    I have made this twice already, to rave reviews. The second time I tripled the recipe for a crowd, and the next day I ate the thickened, leftover sauce without any pasta at all–yum!

  160. vee

    I made this, though left out the pancetta, and didn’t have enough pasta so ended up with a lot more sauce. It. was. perfect. Yummy, hearty and perfect texture from the chickpea-chicken stock mix.

    Will definitely make this in the future, though I feel a bit guilty — no plans to run any marathons over here, so just carbo-loading for the sheer pleasure of it!

  161. Alex

    This IS good. We enjoyed the nutty heartiness of it and scraped the pan with our bread. I will make this again. Super easy end-of-the-workday meal that doesn’t hurt if it has to simmer for a while because you have to shower, put kids to bed, etc… I just added back some pasta water to thin out before serving.

    Thank you!

  162. Wow, this was DELICIOUS! I, too, made the vegan version without cheese, pancetta, and by substituting vegetable broth. I loved it. And I definitely needed a nap afterward, it was so filling!

  163. Emily

    I’d been eye-balling this recipe since November. I figured the combo of jet-lag and chilly weather was the perfect time to carbo-load and get some food-coma induced early sleep, so tonight was the night. I used a half pound of fresh whole wheat pasta and plunked some arugula (along with the cheese) on the top once it was my bowl. Total heaven. Thanks so much. This recipe is going into my forever pile.

  164. Hey this is great. You made it so simple to make. I seldom make or cook pasta recipes, much too scared. But slowly, slowly and slowly this gorgeous dish is tempting me more and more to try it out!

  165. Brooke

    Well, I think I’m the only person who messed this one up! I tried to make a vegetarian version of this and it did not work at all! It turned out flavorless with a weird chalky texture. I made 1 lb of pasta and doubled the sauce (using a delicious homemade veggie broth!) and we ended up throwing away about half. Usually I have no trouble adapting a recipe to be meatless. Not this one :-(

  166. sc

    Made this tonight with my man, who is running in a reach the beach relay this weekend. We doubled the sauce as suggested, added some spinach, and used whole wheat spaghetti. No extra salt was needed because of all the pancetta. It turned out amazingly and we have at least 3-4 meals in delicious leftovers! Definitely making this again, carboloading or not!! Thank you so much for this!!

  167. jem

    i just made this for the eating not for the carbo-loading (not intended anyway). i’ve never thought to put chickpeas in pasta before but it was super tasty. thanks very much!

  168. jem

    i was planning to halve the pasta, but it turned out to be the perfect amount of sauce! also, i’d never thought to put chickpeas in pasta before, but it was super tasty, so thanks very much for the idea.

  169. Trimbie

    Had this for dinner last night – it was lovely. It set me up perfectly for my run this morning. I would never have dreamed of putting pasta and chickpeas together, despite loving them both, but it worked! Like so many fans of your site, I run so I can eat the food I want to eat – Smitten Kitchen delivers every time. Thanks!

  170. Made this for dinner tonight and absolutely loved it! Thank you for your recipes Deb, its been a joy reading through your archives and your pictures of Jacob always make my day!

  171. Jim

    I made this vegetarian by using vegetable broth and eliminating the pancetta. I doubled the sauce recipe (except, I left the amount of olive oil the same). We still thought it needed more sauce, but we like it saucy! Next time I plan to add more diced tomatoes (I think that’ll do the trick). I used canned chickpeas (I like to take the hulls off of them). I also added some black pepper and some more hot red pepper flakes. Other than that, I followed the recipe and it was delicious, flavorful, and incredibly filling and satisfying. Will make it again! Thanks for the recipe. :) I’m glad I found this site (via Eating for England). I will be back to try out many more recipes!

  172. mani

    Having made this several times, I think half pound of pasta was perfect (with other ingredients remaining the same). I also make this with bacon instead of pancetta. Delicious and easy recipe for a week night.

  173. I just made this last night- I didn’t have pancetta, as who knows where to buy that in Russia? So I subbed bacon. I think a pound of pasta was too much with the sauce, so I used a half pound when I saw the amount of sauce. I also added some chopped spinach that was leftover in my fridge. OVerall, this was an excellent recipe and I Would make it again.

  174. Taco

    This is so very, very delicious. The recipe was easily doubled using a 28-oz can of tomatoes and 2 cans of chickpeas. I have made this twice in the last two weeks. Makes great leftovers and a good lunch to take to work. :) Thank you for the great recipe.

  175. Liz

    I was looking for something to with extra cooked white beans, and I thought they subbed in great for the chickpeas here. I also made it vegetarian by subbing in veggie bacon. Super yummy, thanks!

  176. I agree… the only way I will run is if I’m being chased. By a bear. Or a scary guy with a knife. But I am keeping this in mind for the next time I’m doing something with chickpeas.

  177. Lindsay

    omg, i made this last night. i doubled the sauce for 1 lb of pasta and it made the slightest bit too much…definitely preferred though over not enough i think! also my food processor over-processed the chickpeas (user error!) so there weren’t that many chunks but OMG this was delicious. the garlic and onions and everything were so flavorful at the end. definitely a keeper! thank you!

  178. I made it a week ago and it was delicious. Then, I wanted to make this dish again and I realized that I had no chickpeas. It turned out great without them.:)

  179. Katie

    quite saucy! I didn’t even add all of the sauce, but reserved a little less than half of it to freeze for later. It was delicious, though, with the salty pancetta and all of the onions and garlic. Ooh, and extra basil.

  180. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back. gbagddeecdddbfge

  181. Alison Morris

    Re: “I have a hunch that the overlap between people who, say, read a home cooking blog that unapologetically embraces butter and people who, say, run 26.2 miles in their spare time as an personal challenge, is slim-to-none.”

    Deb, I’ve been reading your blog for YEARS…pre-baby, then two babies and two cookbooks. I come here when I just don’t know what to cook or when I KNOW you had SOMETHING about what I want to eat and I forgot to bookmark the recipe. Your Pink Lady Cake has become The Birthday Cake of Choice for my soon to be 9 year old daughter. You’re the neighbor I wish I had.
    So…how in the heck did I miss this post? This is EXACTLY what I need to make tonight. See, I happen to be right smack at the intersection of people who read food blogs avidly (and read cookbooks like novels), who embrace butter, wine and all things holy, who let the dishes pile up while I have one more glass of wine, AND love running marathons. Training for my 7th right now. And a sprint triathlon. So…know that you very well may have an athletic following beyond me! Plus, your recipes so often are my go-to because they are A) usually very do-able after work, B) All those meat free mains! (very Eastern Orthodox friendly, as we generally fast from meat twice a week and through lent) and C) Maybe accidentally GOOD for athletes! (So so very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. He sounds like a wonderful man and obviously raised a lovely person.)

  182. andrew

    oh my goodness this was delicious! i too had my sauce reduce quite a bit and totally will double things up next time around. that said, with a little olive oil added at the end, there was nothing to complain about!

  183. Bec

    Just to say that this has been in the regular rotation for YEARS, and it’s one of my wife and my comfort-food, good veg protein, delicious, favourites. Something about the creaminess of the blended chick-peas makes it extra special – thank you!

    I skip the panchetta to make it vegetarian, and make sure to add a pinch of dried rosemary for extra flavour to make up for it.

  184. Kathleen Wagner

    I’m definitely going to try substituting a can of smoked oysters or some chopped-up anchovy filets for Friday dinners (no meat).

  185. Kathleen Wagner

    (Followup to last week’s comment) I made the recipe as I said today, using two ounces of finely minced anchovy filets instead of the pancetta, because we don’t eat meat on Fridays. It was WONDERFUL; so tasty. Here’s the funny thing: the anchovies seemed to melt right into the sauce and disappear. We could taste them, but we couldn’t see them. I’m so glad to have an easy, inexpensive way to make spaghetti a little different than usual. We’re practicing thrift these days, and variety keeps simple economical food from becoming monotonous. Thank you, Deb!